Toomey unlikely to push for expanded background checks again

    U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey appears to be washing his hands of the gun debate.

    At an annual conference of conservatives in Cumberland County Friday, the remarks of Pennsylvania’s Republican senator struck a conciliatory tone, but also had a note of finality.

    “I want you to know that I intend to turn my attention to my usual wheelhouse. I am going to resume my focus,” he said to applause.

    Toomey went over the specifics of his failed amendment to expand background checks for firearm purchases.

    But he also uttered the same phrase he used after his proposal was rejected by the Senate.

    “I just appreciate being able to explain why I did what I did and my hope is that we can agree to disagree on this and move on to the many, many areas in which we agree,” Toomey said.

    Toomey finished up by also criticizing the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s fiscal policies in his remarks to the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference.

    Several attendees say while they opposed the senator’s background checks legislation, they support him — if only because they doubt they could find a more conservative candidate who could win the state.

    Toomey is the staunchest conservative who can win the state, said Lowman Henry, the event’s organizer.

    “It’s the best we’ve ever had, and we’re not going to form a circular firing squad on this,” Henry said.

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